Mayor Ed Pawlowski delivered the 2014 State of the City address at the end of January, where 135 members and guests of the Allentown Rotary Club gathered at the Holiday Inn at 9th and Hamilton in downtown Allentown.
“The state of our city is one of resurgence,” said the Mayor, opening his 28 minute speech. Pawlowski’s hard work over the last eight years has resulted in positive changes throughout the city. “Resurgence is defined as bringing something again into activity and prominence, and that’s what is occurring in Allentown,” said Pawlowski. “We’ve rebuilt our finances by turning a multi-million dollar deficit into a multi-million dollar surplus; used an innovative approach to fully fund our pensions’ seen six straight years of crime decreases and over a billion dollars in new investment and development; and in 2014 the citizens of Allentown will be seeing their ninth straight year of no property tax increase.”
The police department kicked off the New Year under the leadership of new Chief Joel Fitzgerald, who established the “Keystone Plan for a Safer Allentown.” This multi-year Strategic Plan will include four main points: Proactive and Preventive Policing Initiatives, Intelligence Led Policing (ILP), Community Partnerships, and Redistribution of Internal Resources.
Pawlowski ended the address by proposing a number of new creations for Allentown’s public spaces, including a skate park and a dog park, which would be the city’s first, and a public ice-skating rink in the Arts Walk. The Mayor has plans to partner with the Rodale Institute, known for their expertise in organic farming, to re- purpose vacant lots and unused open spaces throughout the city into a network of urban organic farms, in order to make a “greener” Allentown. “This partnership will combine Rodale’s’ experience and know-how in organic farming with the City of Allentown’s land resources transforming our vacant lots into viable, healthy solutions, providing fresh organic produce to families throughout the city at Head Starts, hospitals and schools.”